This report describes the work accomplished during a first-year investigation of base drag reduction for launch vehicles. Interest in this work has arisen due to the large base areas associated with the current generation of launch vehicles. For example, the X-33 and Venture Star configurations all have large base areas because of the aero-spike engines they use. Because of the large base-to-wetted area ratios of these vehicles, the majority of the vehicle drag is due to base drag. Based on previous research, there appears to be a means for reducing the base drag on such vehicles. A clear relationship between viscous fore-body drag and base drag was demonstrated. For subsonic flow conditions, an increase in fore-body drag causes a decrease in base drag. This base-drag reduction is a result of boundary layer effects at the base of the vehicle. The shear layer that develops from the boundary layer separating at the back of the vehicle is the conduit through which momentum is transferred from the high energy free-stream flow to the low-energy fluid in the base area. One way to think of the base drag is that it is the momentum required to accelerate this low-energy fluid. The boundary layer that develops on the fore body acts as an "insulator" between the external flow and the low-energy air at the base. As the viscous fore-body drag is increased, the boundary layer thickness at the aft end of the fore body increases, thereby reducing the rate at which momentum is transferred to the base area. As a result of the lower momentum transfer (or reduced pumping), the base pressure coefficient rises resulting in a reduction of base drag.